Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. today at St. Augustine Catholic Church for Anders Pederson, who died Nov. 2 just over a week after surgery in which he donated a kidney to his sister Kelly.
Anders lapsed into a coma a day after the successful transplant operation and never awoke. Immediately after the surgery, he and Kelly had a chance to visit several times, both pleased that his kidney was giving her a new lease on life after both of her kidneys failed. "He is now a part of me for the rest of my life," Kelly said.
At the UC San Francisco Medical Center, where the surgery took place, doctors had no explanation for Anders death. They said he was the first kidney donor to succumb from that kind of operation in the 50 years UCSF has performed kidney transplants.
Anders is the son of Melissa Pederson, a Pleasanton Realtor for 27 years who is now with Venture Sothebys International Realty on Main Street.
He was a remarkable guy. Visually impaired early in life, he never let poor sight slow him down, whether in the classroom or on the playground at Vintage Hills Elementary School, which he attended, on the sports fields and track at Pleasanton Middle School, or at Foothill High School.
Even with his vision difficulty, he mastered tennis at Foothill and became a top student in Japanese, a language he chose because of his admiration of Japanese culture. He won top honors in the school's Japanese classes taught by Diehl Sensei (also known as Tom Diehl).
He traveled to Japan after graduating from Foothill to attend Shibuya High School and then Sophia University, both in Tokyo. He then earned a bachelor's degree in Economics and Japanese at Santa Clara University.
Anders was a software developer with experience in project management, analytics and sales. Passionate about solving problems, creating new ideas and bringing innovative products to market, he also enjoyed learning and implementing new technologies, working to make them more impactful and efficient.
Among his innovative ideas was to co-found Spicy Vines, a bold venture in the creation of his own Napa Valley spiced wine. The result was a wine so diverse it can be served straight out of the bottle, as a cocktail or even heated up on a cold winter night like its traditional mulled wine counterpart.
Anders once said it was this venture that helped him challenge people to try something new, do something different and embrace life with a twist.
Anders, who lived in San Francisco, was close to his mother and often stopped by. Daughter Kelly is now home from the UCSF Medical Center with a fully-functioning kidney after several years of dialysis and will return to work in Lyons, Colo., where she is a software engineer. Another son, Austin, lives and works in Utah.
Friends and family will pay tribute to Anders at this afternoon's mass and at a reception at St. Augustine's that will follow.
For those wishing to contribute in her son's memory, Melissa has opened an account at Fremont Bank. Donations should be made in the name of J. Anders Pederson Memorial Fund for Vision Impaired.